Ricky Duggan milestone
Tasmanian reinsman Ricky Duggan became just the second driver in Tasmanian racing history at the weekend to drive 1500 winners.
He started Sunday night’s meeting in Hobart just two wins short of the impressive achievement – and reached the milestone on his fourth drive of the night.
Ricky has been driving since 1987. In that time he has won four state premierships and has won numerous times in feature races, including in the Easter Cup and the Devonport Cup.
The 47-year-old is now within sight of Barrie Rattray’s Tasmanian record of 1575 wins.
On behalf of Tasracing, and everyone across the industry, congratulations on an outstanding career to this point. And good luck on chasing down Barrie’s record.
Congratulations also to thoroughbred trainers Imogen Miller and Chris Crook and jockey Brendon McCoull – and their horse Tshahitsi – for the recent win in the $80,000 Echuca Cup, beating the $2.30 favourite Moss ‘N’ Dale.
Of course, the talented gelding won the $100,000 Listed Newmarket Handicap in Launceston towards the end of last year.
Tshahitsi is scheduled to run in Melbourne at the weekend.
One final congratulation – to the 10 participants selected for the 2017 6tyo Youngbloods Challenge.
The series for young drivers will be conducted at Devonport on 9 June, in Hobart on 11 June and finally in Launceston on 18 June.
The drivers selected are Nicholas Brockman, Dylan Ford, Taylor Ford, Samantha Freeman, Samantha Gangell, Justin Howlett, Matthew Howlett, Jack Laugher, Wade Rattray (emergency), Hannah Vandongen and Brady Woods.
2017 Winter Distance Carnival
The greyhound 2017 Winter Distance Carnival has started with the R L Foley Perpetual Stakes at Launceston on 29 May 2017, won impressively by Furious Floss from the blue box.
This is the first of a series of distance races which will culminate in the state final of the Nationals (one series over the sprint and one over the distance) which will be held in Launceston on 7 August 2017.
The winner of the state finals will head to Brisbane to represent Tasmania in the grand finals on 25 August 2017.
The next series in the Winter Carnival is the Luxbet Championship at Launceston with heats to be held on Monday 19 June and the final on 26 June 2017.
Work is continuing on plans to replace the course proper at Elwick.
The detailed evaluation work that will provide the information for the construction of the new track is nearing completion.
Once that work is finalised, and the information that has been gathered properly assessed and analysed, we will be working with industry representatives on identifying the most appropriate path forward.
Dog Control Act and GAP
It was pleasing to read reports that the Dog Control Act Amendments Bill 2017 will be tabled in the Tasmanian Parliament soon, allowing Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) graduates to be in public unmuzzled.
As readers would be aware, Tasracing has been lobbying for such a change since 2011. The draft legislation sends a strong message to the community about the suitability of greyhounds as companion animals.
While on the subject of the GAP, work is also continuing on the development of a dedicated facility for the GAP.
I expect the planning process we are currently working through with expert consultants will take a further six to eight weeks, at which time we will be ready to make official planning submissions to the relevant council.
In the meantime, Tasracing is actively pursuing other avenues for rehoming of retired greyhounds.